February 12, 2018


Visby, Gotland Island, Sweden


Elder Spencer Ashford

Duck Dynasty

Buckle up Buttercup, this week was a good one!  
Let's begin with last weeks P-day activity.  On of our investigators, Robert, took us on a hike into the forest where we made a camp fire and cooked some hot dogs and drank some hot chocolate!  It was honestly so much fun!  Even though Roberts 73 years old, he makes jokes like any other teenager.  It reminded me of going into the mountains back home and making a fire and watching the sunset and looking at the stars.  We didn't have a sunset or stars, but it was still a really fun time!
Next on the list is probably one of the best answers ever received to a prayer ever.  So Elder Ashford and I went out to go visit some people who had investigated the church years ago, but for what ever reason stopped.  Before we went out we prayed and as I finished the prayer, the face of Si from Duck Dynasty popped into my mind.  Guys I haven't thought about Duck Dynasty for over 6 months.  I told Elder Ashford if he knew who Si was and then asked if we had any old guys to visit.  We in fact had one to go visit.  We went to his house and when he opened the door I about lost it!  Standing there was and old guy with a beard that could be straight out of Duck Dynasty!  Long story short, we are now teaching this man and I'm glad I watched Duck Dynasty.
This week was also SPLITS!!!  So we packed up Tuesday afternoon and took the ferry over to the mainland where we met up with Elder Olson and Elder Rasmussen.  Elder Olson is the new District leader in our District and also my best friend.  He's awesome!  He's a convert from California and has been a member of the church in Sweden as a missionary longer than being a member in California!  Cool story while Elder Olson and I were together.  We were tracting these apartments and totally pulled a 4th Floor Last Door.  (For those of you who don't know what that is, it's a phrase that came from a talk about how these missionaries knocked on every single door and no body answered until the very last door)  Except ours was a first floor first door because we started at the top of this 8 story apartment building and worked down.  And at our very last door, this guy let us in and we had an awesome discussion with him and he was super interested that we had a living day Prophet!  
Also some other things from Splits.  There's a family in the Handen ward that has had the missionaries over for dinner every time I have been their for Splits.  I have been to splits in the Handen ward 3 times now and have had dinner with this family 3 times now.  That's more than any missionary that has actually served there in Handen!  Also because we were in Handen we got be at District meeting live and in person instead of on the other side of a screen!  And to finish it off we went to another member meal while I was there (Handen's the biggest ward in Sweden so the missionaries get fed basically everyday there)  with a family that had kids!  Like I haven't been around kids the whole time being out here on Gotland and I didn't realized how much I miss being around young people.  But it won't be like this for much longer... 
As a missionary you are with the same person all day every day and you never leave each others sight or sound unless to go to the bathroom.  Because you spend so much time with one person I have developed a Companionship Unity System which includes four levels of conversation that should happen with your companion for the best companionship unity.  (Disclaimer:  This is totally made up by me, but I think it's funny and true. Also if you're not a missionary you might not get it)  Level 1:  The Basics: Where are you from? How big's your family?  What do you like to do? etc.    Level 2:  Interests/Passions: This is a little bit more than, What do you like to do?  This is What makes you happy?  What gets you up in the morning?  What are some of your favorite memories?  Stories are recommended for this level.   Level 3:  The Girl Talk.  Do I need to say more?  Stories are required for this level.  Level 4:  Testimony/Story of Life:  This is the deepest level as you tell each other how your testimonies came to be?  What happened in your life that made you the person you are?  This is Elder Beckman's Companionship Unity System, feel free to use it.  
So I bet you are wondering why I said "But it won't be like this for much longer..."  I'm being transferred!!!!  Actually I was super sad when I got the call saying I would be leaving Gotland.  I love it here!  I love the people, I love the landscape, I love the work, I love the branch, I love it all!  But as hard as it will be to leave, it'll be fun to start a new adventure in.... Helsingborg!!!  Helsingborg is a pretty big city in the South of Sweden, just North of Malmö.  Elder Ashford was actually trained there so he's been telling me all about it!  You can apparently see Denmark from Helsingborg and there's a castle that's surrounded by a moat there and lots of other super sick stuff that I can't wait to experience for myself!  As for Elder Ashford, he'll be taking care of Visby for me with the help of Elder Ellis.  Oh yeah, I almost forgot, my new companion will be Elder Olson!  No not the one that's in Handen, but another Elder Olson!  I've never met him before but I'm excited too!  
There was a lot more that I didn't get to like today's P-day adventure which was the BEST one yet!  So I'll have to tell you about that next week from Helsingborg!  Also, I read an awesome talk from Elder Bednar this week that I hope you all can find 15 mins to read.  I love you all, appreciate the emails you send, the make my day every time I see one.  I know this Church is true with all my heart.  I know that the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith was a Prophet and this is Christ's Church restored to the earth.  I don't know everything, but I am 100% certain in those fundamental principles.    
Elder Beckman

1. Cooking Dogs in the Forest2. The District Live and in Person3. Elder Olson in Handen4 and 5.  My Boys Per and Robert


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Sweden Stockholm Mission

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Days in Mission Field